Comparing Dana Holgorsen and Neal Brown

Dana Holgorsen was a far more successful head coach at West Virginia than Neal Brown has been. Although many fans of the Mountaineers didn’t care for his brash personality, Holgorsen got the results that Brown simply has not.

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — In his recent interview on The Voice of College Football, Neal Brown confidently stated that West Virginia has been “just average” during his four seasons as the head coach of the Mountaineers. His exact quote was, “We’ve just been average. We haven’t been poor by any means or bad, but we haven’t been good either.”

Brown claiming that West Virginia has been average is head-scratching to say the least. In four seasons, Brown is 22-25 overall and 14-21 in the Big 12 Conference. While that may be “average” for Brown, West Virginia University football has a whole different set of expectations. West Virginia is among the winningest programs in the history of college football and anything less than excellence is unacceptable.  

While many Brown loyalists claim that he has the program headed in the right direction following the Dana Holgorsen era at West Virginia, Holgorsen was actually quite successful while in Morgantown.

In his eight seasons at West Virginia, Holgorsen had only one losing season, which occurred in his second season in 2013 when the Mountaineers finished 4-8. In comparison, Brown has had a losing record in 3 out of 4 seasons. Holgorsen’s best season was in 2016 when West Virginia had a 10-3 record and a 7-2 record in the Big 12. Brown’s best season so far happened in 2020 when the Mountaineers finished 6-4 overall and 4-4 in the Big 12 Conference during a COVID-shortened season.

While Holgorsen was arguably not a “good guy” like Brown, he was far more successful. In his eight seasons, he had a 61-41 record and a 38-32 record in conference play. If Neal  Brown thinks 22-25 and 14-21 is “average”, then Dana Holgorsen must be the greatest coach in the history of football since he accomplished far more with the exact same program in the exact same conference and with the exact same level of talent.